As the Alphas walked into the room their eyes set on the three hybrid creatures in the room. One of these things had caused enough trouble... Facing three at once... Would be dangerous.
Mendores thought over what scrolls they had left. Kadin's teleport scroll, his own barrier, and Estellese's death grip. Nothing that could easily bring these down like Zanath had done before. "Alright, everyone we're going to-" He started but before he could finish Kadin had already sprinted off after the leftmost creature.
"Sprint off and act like an idiot. It's what he does best." Estellese grumbled.
Mendores shook his head. "Let him do his own thing. New plan, Estell take the rightmost creature, Zanath with me on the center one. Lets hope Kadin knows what he's doing. Plan is to pick them off one at a time by outnumbering them, so just hold out until me and Zanath kill ours." With that Mendores and Zanath ran towards the hybrid creature in the middle.
"Got it" Estellese replied. She tightly gripped the battle axe she had taken from the last chest and ran towards her assigned beast, but she treaded with caution. Her injuries slowed her down and weakened her, she knew that, and as she watched the snake-tail she could tell that it moved too fast for her. It moved too fast for any of them to keep up with. She was going to have to be careful with this one. The lion part of the beast roared out loudly and pounced at Estellese, but Estellese quickly threw a spinning roundhouse kick at the beast, striking it in the side and knocking it out of the air. The beast hit the ground on its side and skidded a few feet, but immediately rolled onto its feet and with a roar of anger lunged for Estellese again. Her ribs were searing in pain, she spun back around as fast as she could to face the beast again but it was too late. As soon as she saw it the beast tackled her to the ground and immediately moved to sink its teeth into her throat. But before it could bite her she dropped her axe since the beast was too close to hit it with the axe and slammed a fist into the creature's nose, causing the beast to yelp in pain and recoil for a brief moment. But it turned its attention right back to Estellese and took in a deep breath, with her pinned underneath its paws it was getting ready to spew more flames.
Estellese immediately thrust her right arm up to grab the beast's throat, shoving its head up so that it spat its flames up into the air. Growling in frustration the beast started trying to struggle to get its throat out of her grip, it began clawing at her anywhere it could reach, and suddenly Estellese heard a hissing from her left side. She turned to see the snake-tail reaching around the side, the snake's head pulled back and suddenly lunged forward at her throat with lighting fast speeds. Estellese cussed loudly and thought fast, taking her left arm and thrusting it down its throat to prevent it from biting her neck. She screamed out in pain as she felt the snake's fangs sink into her arm, and felt the claws of the beast tearing away at her, and felt the weight of the beast on top of her broken ribs. It all hurt so much her head was spinning. Estellese grit her teeth, trying to bear through the intense pain, as she slammed her arm that was inside of the snake against the ground, slamming the snake's fangs deeper into her arm, but keeping her arm pressed firmly against the ground to make sure the snake was pinned and wouldn't be able to bite her anywhere else.
And then, she focused on the scroll she had in her pocket. A red aura surrounded her and the beast, one for each of them, but the aura of the beast looked as if it was being sucked into Estellese's aura little by little. The beast started struggling and trying to pull away, but Estellese tightened her grip on its throat, squeezing so hard that her nails broke skin and the beast started to bleed. "You're not going anywhere now." She growled, fighting through the pain, trying very hard not to scream as the beast clawed away at her, as the snake repeatedly bit and yanked on her arm in a mad attempt to pull her arm out of its throat. As the beast's aura grew weaker and weaker, its body grew weaker and its attempts to fight and pull away grew feeble, its loud roars and growls became quiet whimpers and yelps. Until eventually, the beast's aura was gone and it lifelessly collapsed to the ground. Leaving Estellese lying in a pool of her own blood, her body torn and mangled from the beast's claws, with silent tears she couldn't hold back running down her cheeks from the sheer pain as she laid on the ground. She laid there for just a moment, before shakily standing back up, barely standing but standing nonetheless. It was then that the second part of the scroll started kicking in, her wounds all began rapidly healing from the life force she had drained from the creature. She checked her pocket hoping the scroll would still be there, it saved her life, but it was nothing more then ash now. It would not be there to save her again.
Although, she did wonder why nobody had come to help her. Usually the team was right on top of that. She looked around for the others, only to see that they were not in much better positions.
Kadin jumped back narrowly getting out of reach of the snake-tail to avoid getting bitten by it. As soon as his feet touched the ground the lion head took in a deep breath and billowed out flames, forcing Kadin to turn and run to the side to get out of the way of the flames. He shifted a little, running at an angle to try and strike at the beast from the side. As he got close he swung his sword down at its back but the beast tilted its head back and blocked the blade with its long horns. The snake-tail whipped around and lunged for Kadin's shoulder with lightning fast speeds, but Kadin was quick to jump back again and get out of its reach before it could hit him. He couldn't get a single hit in on the beast, it was too fast and had too many defenses for him to strike it, and its constant attacks were forcing him to stay on the defense.
Mendores and Zanath were not faring much better. As Estellese looked over at them Mendores had grabbed onto the beast's horns and was fighting to try and hold it in place while Zanath came up on it from the side. Zanath stabbed his sword down at the beast, but the snake tail swung in and blocked the blade with its scales, before turning and lunging for Mendores. Mendores was forced to jump backwards and let go of the beast's horns to get away from the snake, and as soon as he did the beast turned and the lion's head let loose a blast of flames at Zanath. Zanath dove into a roll to get out of the way, but as he rolled away from the flames the beast pounced on top of him.
Mendores was right there, so in a flash he charged at the beast. The snake tail lunged for him, but Mendores bashed it out of the way with the bone he had stolen from the skeletons and rammed his shoulder into the beast's side, knocking it off Zanath. The beast was back on its feet in the blink of an eye and let out another blast of flames at Mendores and Zanath, forcing Mendores to quickly sidestep the flames, and making Zanath have to jump off the ground from his lying position and roll out of the way. The beast then charged at Mendores, and Zanath took the opportunity of it being distracted to rush in and stab his sword at the beast's side. But the snake was not distracted, it swooped down and blocked the sword with its scales again.
Then suddenly Kadin appeared out of nowhere on the other side of the beast and stabbed his sword into its other side. The beast roared out in pain as it felt the blade plunge into it, and then Kadin yanked the sword down to not just stab the beast but to slice it open. The beast roared out again in pain and the snake hissed loudly. Zanath used this brief moment that the creature was stunned from the pain to stab at it once more, aiming for where the heart would be on a lion, then yanked his sword back out and jumped away from the beast to get out of the way of any further last-ditch efforts the beast had before it died.
The beast spat out a fireball at Mendores who quickly sidestepped the flames, it roared and struggled, trying to turn and attack kadin but it couldn't move fast enough, before it could turn to him it collapsed to the ground, dead.
"You killed yours already Kadin?" Mendores questioned, wondering why Kadin was suddenly here and not fighting his own beast.
"Of course not." Kadin replied simply, as if it had been a silly question. He held up the ashes that used to be his blink scroll to indicate how he got here and how he got away from his beast. "It's probably about to pounce on us any second now."
With a loud roar the last of the hybrid creatures rushed in and moved to pounce on Mendores. But before it could reach him a red and pink blur rushed past Mendores and punched the beast in the nose mid-jump, slamming it back down into the ground. It was Estellese, of course, and she was completely soaked in blood to the point where her hair and clothes looked more red than pink and purple. It was her own blood, but nobody knew that because her wounds were all healed and she was unharmed. "I killed my creature, this is the last one." She said before moving in closer to the beast.
Mendores glanced over at where she had been fighting before, to see that the creature she had been fighting was indeed dead. He looked back at the others with a rather shocked expression. "The longer I'm around her... The more I am glad she is with us and not against us." He said before he rushed off to assist Estellese.
"Agreed, she is scary." Kadin replied before following the others.
The hybrid creature got back onto its feet and growled, taking in a deep breath before spewing out a stream of flames at the oncoming Alphas. Everyone quickly moved to the sides to avoid the flames and continued moving in on the beast. Mendores took the lead. "Same plan as before, surround it, restrain it, kill it." He took the front and charged the beast head-on, as the beast backed up and prepared to spit more flames Mendores rushed in and grabbed its horns, yanking them to make the beast look down at the floor.
The snake-tail lunged at Mendores to force him to let go, but Estellese was on top of it. She grabbed the base of the snake-tail and yanked it back, sliding her hands up its body to grab it closer to the head so she could stop it from turning and biting her. As she restrained it the snake head spun around and tried snapping at her, but it couldn't reach with her holding it back. It opened its mouth widely and hissed at her, and as it did Estellese noticed some clear liquid leaking out of the snake's fangs. "Eww, don't slobber on me." she growled at the snake as she used her other hand to smack it over the head and shut its mouth. As she restrained the snake half Zanath and Kadin moved in from the sides and slashed down at the beast from both sides, their blades cutting through the creature's body and killing it on the spot.
As the last of the beasts' bodies fell lifelessly to the ground everyone took a second to catch their breath. "Good job team" Mendores said. "Alright so Kadin used his scroll, we are down one scroll then."
"I used mine too." Estellese replied. "I took a bit of a beating, had to use it." She added.
"Oh, alright we are down two scrolls then. That means mine is the only one we have left." Mendores replied. "How did yours work, are you all healed up? How are you feeling"
Estellese nodded "Every injury I had was completely healed. I feel pretty good now, although my arm burns like hell where the thing bit me." She said.
Mendores nodded, "Maybe your body hasn't registered that the wound is gone yet, it did heal pretty quick." He suggested.
"Yeah, probably" Estellese rolled up her sleeve and looked at her arm, the fang marks from where the snake had bit her were gone. But the area was all swollen, and looked to be red and inflamed, and it burned. But the scroll had healed everything so she didn't think much of it. She looked over the group, Kadin was a little burnt, and the others were a little battered, but everyone was otherwise alright.
"We ready to go?" Mendores asked everyone, to which the group nodded. He got up and once everyone was up and ready he began leading the way through the room. They headed east into a hallway. The hall was empty so they continued through it until they reached a crossroads. To their left, north, was a room with seven skeletons in it. To their right, south, the empty hallway continued.
"Bet ya those skeletons are guarding something." Kadin said. "We can take em out pretty easily." He added.
"It is a possibility, not a guarantee." Zanath pointed out.
"Well, yeah. But we are here for equipment and supplies right? Mine as well check and see if anything is there" Kadin said.
Mendores shook his head. "We are outnumbered almost two to one. While I trust that we can handle skeletons, we'll need to be careful." He said. "Just think about how much numbers has helped us, we never would have killed most of these creatures if we didn't outnumber them. Don't underestimate the skeletons." He said as he lead the way and took the first step into the room. "And remember, blunt attacks. Your swords are useless here."
As they stepped into the room the seven skeletons noticed them. All seven skeletons carried swords this time. Estellese readied her battle axe, she was pretty sure the weight of the axe would cut through these specially hardened bones no problem, unlike a sword.
"Spread out a little so they don't surround us, but stay close enough to each other to assist each other when necessary." Mendores instructed. And the group did as he asked, each of the Alpha testers spreading out a few feet from each other, watching as the seven skeletons rushed at them with swords at the ready. Each person had two skeletons running at them except Zanath who was the furthest to the right, only one chased him.
Mendores focused as his two skeletons ran at him. The first one raised its sword and swung the sword for his neck, but Mendores blocked it with the bone he had stolen from the first set of skeletons they faced. Immediately after blocking it he grabbed the skeleton's arm with his free hand, yanked it down and slammed his heel into the shoulder joint, snapping the skeleton's arm. But before he could finish it off the second skeleton rushed in and stabbed its sword at his stomach, forcing Mendores to let go of the first skeleton and quickly sidestep the thrust, turning his body to get it out of the way of the blade as he stepped to the side. And while turning his body he used that momentum to slam his bone club into the head of the other skeleton, knocking it to the ground.
The first skeleton grabbed onto Mendores's leg as it tried to get up off the ground, but Mendores was quick to slam the heel of his other foot down on the skeleton's shoulder, breaking it and rendering the skeleton's arm unable to move. With that one incapacitated he turned his attention to the one on the ground, He saw it starting to get back up as quickly as it could, so he pelted his bone-club at the skeleton's head, hitting the skeleton on the side of the head with it and knocking it back onto the ground. He then immediately jumped on the skeleton and picked up the bone club he had thrown, before he began using it to smash and break the arm and leg joints on the skeleton.
Meanwhile, Estellese who was not too far from him made even quicker work of her skeletons. With the battleaxe she had taken from the last treasure chest they didn't stand much of a chance. The first skeleton rushed at her and slashed its sword for her neck, but Estellese simply ducked under the sword and then slammed her battleaxe down on the skeleton's left leg as hard as she could, striking hard enough to cut through the bones of the skeleton's leg and take the leg right off. As the skeleton lost balance and fell over, she raised her axe twice more, once to slam it down on the skeleton's neck and behead it, and once more to slam her axe down on the skeleton's spine, cutting it in half. She looked up to see the second skeleton rushing in just seconds behind the first, and she quickly picked up the severed torso of the first skeleton and threw it at the second one. Not expecting such an attack, the second skeleton couldn't dodge in time and was knocked over when struck by its ally's torso. And as soon as the skeleton hit the ground Estellese was on top of it, slamming her axe down at it to break it into pieces and finish it off.
Zanath, who was beside Estellese only had one skeleton rushing at him. By now these skeletons were no longer even a threat, they had learned the basics to combat shockingly fast and at this point the linear attacks of the skeletons seemed like child's play. He still wondered why the creatures in this dungeon were different, why they all had linear attacks, why they didn't act and seem alive like the creatures on the surface. The monsters in this dungeon acted exactly as he expected an AI to act, which being in a game world that wasn't surprising. But the monsters on the surface... They didn't act like AI, from the little he had observed of them they acted as if they were alive and trying to survive in this world just like anyone else. And that puzzled him, it almost puzzled him enough to make him forget about the skeleton he was fighting. Suddenly when he snapped back to reality the skeleton was standing right in front of him and a shining piece of metal was swinging for his head. Using his speed to his advantage Zanath dropped to a crouching position to duck under the sword, then once he was crouched and the blade was past him his legs sprung him up and he tackled the skeleton. He slammed it into the ground and landed on top of it, then began slamming the blunt hilt of his sword into the skeleton's shoulders to break them. It took a few strikes to break the skeleton's hardened bones this way, and the entire time the skeleton was struggling, squirming, and throwing punches at him with its free hand, But in time he broke both of its arms and moved on to the legs.
Kadin had the hardest time with his skeletons, he had no blunt weaponry to fight them with and he was still facing two of them at once. As the first skeleton rushed in and took a swing at him Kadin clashed swords with it, using his own sword to block the skeleton's. Then Kadin immediately kicked the skeleton to knock it over, but before he could do much more with it the second skeleton stepped in and he had to block the sword from that one, as the second skeleton pushed forwards and slashed at Kadin again, Kadin was forced to back away from the first skeleton and block the second one's attacks. He couldn't get an advantage with both of them attacking him, or a moment to focus one of them out. He did not do well with facing multiple targets at once.
The first skeleton stood back up and stabbed its sword for Kadin's chest, but Kadin sidestepped and quickly moved his sword to block a slash from the second skeleton just in time. But as he blocked the second skeleton's attack the first one stepped forwards and slashed its sword for Kadin's legs, forcing him to jump back and stopping him from counterattacking. But as the first skeleton swung for Kadin's legs, suddenly it was hit over the head from behind by a bone and knocked to the ground. Kadin glanced up to see Mendores, coming to assist. The second skeleton slashed at Kadin again, aiming for his throat, but Kadin blocked it with his sword again and kicked the skeleton to the ground. With Mendores handling the other one, Kadin had no problem pinning this one and promptly got to work at breaking its joints so it couldn't move. While Mendores pinned the other one and did the same.
The fight was quick and swift, they had gotten used to fighting these simple skeletons. With all the undead beings on the ground and too broken up to fight, the four Alphas went and took all of the swords from the seven skeletons. Mendores kept two of the swords, then placed the other five swords, his makeshift club, and the bone he had been using in that magical shrinking bag they had found. Despite the bag shrinking everything that went in those items that nearly filled it. "Everyone okay?" Mendores asked.
"Yep." Estellese replied. And everyone else nodded.
"Alright, lets see what was behind these skeletons then." Mendores said as he gestured for the group to follow him. There was nothing in this room but there was another room to the east of here. As they walked into the next room, they found that this room was also empty and was a dead end.
"Really?" Kadin grumbled. "Nothing but a dead end? We could have skipped that entire fight."
"Well, it is a dungeon. Can't expect every fight to lead to something useful." Zanath said. "We at least got some swords out of it. Incase we lose or break the ones we got."
Mendores nodded "And I got two swords of my own, so that's a plus. Lets check the other path, we must be nearing the end of this dungeon. And if we are not I think we're gonna call it quits and back out soon." He said. "Stay on guard." He turned and started leading the way back to the crossroads they had passed before fighting the skeletons.
Estellese tightened her grip on her axe when he said to stay on guard, but cringed in pain when she did so. She glanced down at her arm, That burning sensation had spread, it no longer was just around the area the snake had bitten her, now she could feel the burning going down her entire arm and her entire arm looked red and a little swollen. It hurt to move her arm, it felt like the muscles were all on fire. She didn't know why this was happening, but it wasn't too bothersome at the moment so she ignored it for now and just followed along behind the group.
Once they reached the crossroads they headed south this time, following the hallway as it turned to the east. There was another crossroads that went south again, but the group passed it up and followed the long hallway to the east. There seemed to be nothing else around, they weren't running into any more monsters. The hallway eventually turned to the north, and lead to a short set of about ten steps, with a closed metal door at the top of the steps.
The four of them exchanged a glance, whatever was beyond this door wasn't good. "If I had to guess, this would be the boss room." Mendores said.
"We passed a side path along the way here, should we go back for it?" Zanath asked.
"We'll get it on the way out." Mendores replied. "Is everyone ready for this?" He asked.
"Ready" Estellese, Zanath, and Kadin all replied in unison.
"Alright, lets go." Mendores said as he lead the way up the stairs to the door. Everyone followed him, until suddenly Estellese ran away from the group and ran into the nearby corner of the room. She placed one hand on the wall in front of her and leaned over into the corner.
"Estell?" Mendores questioned. But right after he spoke he got his answer for why she was acting strangely, She threw up, twice.
"Ugh..." Estellese groaned, cringing a little when she was finished. "Sorry, suddenly I'm not feeling so well." She said quietly, waiting a moment to make sure she wasn't going to throw up again before she returned to the group. The burning sensation in her arm had spread even further now, she could feel it spreading from her arm across her chest. And now she was starting to feel very ill. "I'm okay now, I'm ready to go. Probably just overstressed, that can make you sick."
"You sure?" Mensores asked.
"I'm sure." Estellese replied. "I'm okay."
"Alright, I'll trust your word." Mendores replied. "Lets go, be on guard everyone." He added as he pushed the metal door open and walked into the room, with his three friends right behind him.
As they entered the room they saw that it looked like a big chamber, it was a large open room with nothing but pillars every here and there in it. Pillars, and a giant snake that was almost as thick as a bus and about a hundred and thirty feet long. They all went wide-eyed as they stared at the giant snake, and the snake lifted its head high into the air and stared back at them, hissing loudly as it uncoiled and started slithering towards them.
"Uh, guys." Kadin stated. "I can't move."
"What the hell? Me neither!" Estellese said in a panicked tone.
"Neither can I." Mendores replied.
"What is going on! Why can't we move!" Estellese frantically spoke as she struggled and tried everything she could to move away from the oncoming snake.
The snake was getting closer and closer, staring them down as it moved. It could have moved much faster if it wasn't keeping its head up like that to stare them down.
Zanath suddenly stumbled and took a few steps away from the snake, then he held up one free hand as if shielding his eyes from the sun, only there was no sun in here and he was shielding his eyes from the snake. "Close your eyes and move! Don't look at the snake, it's a basilisk!"
— Chapter 10: Dungeon boss: The end of the dungeon —